Saturday, October 29, 2005

"Bush Economy" Continues to Boom

from The Wall Street Journal

Oct. 28, 2005

U.S. economic growth sped up in the third quarter despite the impact of
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Gross domestic product rose at a seasonally
adjusted 3.8% annual rate, the Commerce Department reported.

For more information

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Kansas Taxpayer Bill of Rights and Higher Education

Americans for Prosperity has been out supporting a Kansas Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), which essentially requires the State to limit spending increases to inflation plus population growth. If the State wants to raise spending at a higher rate, they would have to put the increase to a public vote.

Earlier this week the Kansas Board of Regents came out in opposition to a Kansas TABOR arguing that limiting spending growth would lead to cuts in funding for higher education and devastate Kansas Universities. Colorado is the model for the Kansas TABOR and today AFP has a response to the Regents. You can see their full Kansas vs. Colorado since they enacted TABOR comparison here.

"While it isn't surprising that the Regents took a position against giving Kansas citizens the right to approve taxes, it is a little unfortunate they didn't engage in more academic inquiry. The reasons the Regents state for opposing the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights just don't hold up to any scrutiny.

"U.S. News ranks the University of Colorado higher than K.U. And Colorado State was ranked among the 120 best universities K-State wasn't ranked. Kansas doesn't have a state university among the best 120 masters-level universities in the county, and Colorado does.

"Both K.U. and K-State have higher in-state tuition than the Univ. of Colorado.


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Paul Morrison to Challenge Phill Kline

Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison announced today that he will challenge Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline in the 2006 general election. Morrison will switch parties and run as a Democrat.

Morrison's decision to abandon the Republican Party that has supported him through his 17 years in public office will surely be seen as a blow to the County Party and County Party leadership.

However, the move may say more about Morrison's political intellect than the merits of either party.

Phill Kline is a strong campaigner, especially in a Republican primary. Kline has won tough campaigns against both Greg Musil in 2000 and David Adkins in 2002. Nobody is more loved by the moderate wing of the Republican Party than David Adkins, and Kline beat him decisively in the 2002 primary, ending Adkins' political career. As Attorney General Kline has done a good job and compiled a record that will play well in the upcoming election. Coupled with the advantage of incumbentcy and high state-wide name ID, beating Kline will be tough, and beating him in a Republican primary will be impossible.

However, in a general election, Kline may be more vulnerable. In the last election Chris Biggs ran a tough race against Kline, and with the benefit of a well coordinated Democrat campaign effort state wide, Biggs narrowly lost to Kline. The race was especially close due to a large amount of bad blood left over from the bruising Republican AG primary, as well as a divisive GOP Governor primary.

In the primary Morrison would be up against Kline in front of only Republican voters and stand no chance, in the general Morrison starts with Kansas' 30% Democrat base, who hate Kline. From there Morrison has a good chance at picking off the moderate Republicans who strongly dislike Kline, give Morrison another 10% of the vote, giving him a good base of 40% of voters.

Kline will pick up the 75% of the Republican party made up of conservatives and moderates who like the job Kline has done as AG, that gives Kline about 40% of the vote.

That leaves unaffiliated voters and 5% of the Republican vote up for grabs. Not a clear win for either, but definitely a better picture for Morrison than a run at Kline in the GOP primary.

How the pro-life Morrison will play with Dems, and if Dem. AG hopeful Chris Biggs will clear the field for Morrison remains to be seen.

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Monday, October 24, 2005

Bush's Real Approval Rating

Fire Dennis Moore has a great article today deconstructing the new Survey USA Presidential approval polling number for Kansas.

FDM digs into the poll and finds that the sample is flawed, over representing "independents" and under representing Republicans. When FDM adjusts the sample, the numbers come back with a 51% approval rating for Bush in Kansas. Not a big win for the President, but much better than the bad numbers that Survey USA originally came up with.

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Brownback on Miers

Kansas Senator Sam Brownback has been identified as a "Profile in Courage" by the National Review for his stand on Hariet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Cheers for Tom Coburn

Yesterday Senator Tom Coburn twice took to the Senate floor to fight spending earmarks of dubious value, in both cases Coburn lost by wide margins and the Senate approved additional, wasteful spending despite the nation's large fiscal deficit.

In the first case Coburn spoke against a taxpayer funded sculpture garden in Washington state. In the second case Coburn suggested that instead of building a $223 million, federally funded bridge to an island in Alaska inhabited by only 50 people, our nation instead spends that money rebuilding the bridge from New Orleans north across Lake Pontchartrain.

Coburn's attempt to reign in spending should be applauded. While these projects are only small drops in a very large federal budget, they are, or would have been, a good start.

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How Bush Can Get Back on Track

The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Henninger has a compelling article about how President Bush could recapture the momentum in light of his recent stumbles.

Henninger recommends four steps: Withdraw the Miers nomination and replace her with Judge Edith Jones of the Fifth Circuit, make a personal address to the Iraqi parliament in Baghdad, nominate a successor to Alan Greenspan (whose term ends in January), and take a firm position on spending.

It is a tough formula, but one that would work, and one President Bush can pull off.


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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Johnson County Republican Party Platform Update

The Johnson County Republican Party is beginning to provide more detail about the Party Platform meeting on October 29th.

Interested Republicans can now download a form to provide input (six to 25 words) on the Party platform.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Kansas Republican Platform Committee

The Johnson County Republican Party will be holding a hearing on behalf of the Kansas Republican Platform Committee on October 29th at 10:00am (9:00 according to the Party website).

According to a postcard sent out by the County Party, only written statements of 25 words or less will be accepted via a form to be posted at an unknown future date at the County Party's website.

Details regarding what issues will be discussed, how to submit comments, who input will be accepted from, and how to submit comments, are unclear at best, more to come as more info is released and clarified by the county party.

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Democrat Opponent for Dennis Moore

Thomas E. Scherer has announced that he will challenge Dennis Moore in the Kansas Third Congressional District Democrat Primary in 2006.

Scherer will provide Democrats the opportunity to vote for a legitimate liberal candidate against Moore, who while racking up an impressively liberal voting record in Congress, continues to talk the moderate Republican game on the campaign trail, alienating many Democrats and making them wonder what Moore really stands for.

Should be interesting to see how many Democrats line up behind Scherer, and to see if the primary makes Moore define his position on important issues more clearly, something Rep. Moore has refused to do since his election to the US House.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Roundup

David Lindstrom won the Fire Dennis Moore Straw Poll this weekend Lindstrom pulled in 39% of the site's growing readership, pretty impressive for a candidate in a fractured party and in a race that has received so little coverage from the mainstream press.

The Lawrence Journal World continues its attack against Bob Corkins this morning
. This time they turn a one sided story about an argument with Audrey Langworthy into a story about how Corkins wasn't a good lobbyist.

The Johnson County Sun's continued its pro-Dennis Moore bias this week. The Sun provided no coverage at all of Moore's recent vote against the energy bill, a bill that will stimulate refinery construction and could lead to lower gas prices for the middle class. After covering Moore playing a guitar in a school two weeks ago, and Moore signing on to a burn prevention bill last week, apparently the Sun didn't have time to cover how Moore actually votes on major legislation. Apparently the Sun had to clear space for their riveting article about the governor speaking to a women's group.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Fire Dennis Moore Straw Poll

The fine people at Fire Dennis Moore have two new straw polls up.

Their previous straw polls for Kansas Third Congressional District candidates have provided interesting insight into who may be winning the horse race to take on Dennis Moore in 2006.

This time, the guys at FDM also give you an opportunity to vote for the Republican candidate to take on the Governor in 2006.

Go vote at FDM today.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Dennis Moore Opposes Lower Gas Prices

Last night the House of Representatives passes an energy bill that includes a number of provisions that would lead to lower energy costs for the middle class.

The bill includes, among other measures, incentives to build new refinery capacity. Due to environmental regulations there has not been a refinery built in the United States in the past 30 years. The lack of necessary refining capacity is one of the key factors that has driven up gas prices over the past year.

Rep. Dennis Moore voted against the bill.

According to sources Moore changed his vote on the legislation at the last minute, under pressure from Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

New Day for Kansas Republicans

Kansas Republican Politics will be the website that brings the Kansas Republican Party back.

We will be focused both on developing excellent policy ideas that improve life for all Kansans and on identifying and helping strong candidates.